Getting Started with Watercolor

 

Get all of the details about different watercolor paints, brushes and papers so you know how to start your own daily art practice. Watercolor painting can be relaxing as you watch the colors blend like they do in nature.

 

Watercolor painting can be an escape from the daily grind. The essentials of water, paper, paint and brushes can easily fit into a pencil box. Setup & clean up is fast, since everything is water-based. It truly makes art fun and portable.

Be sure to download the guide that provides details on my favorite brushes, paints and papers for beginners - plus where to buy affordably and learn watercolor techniques for free or cheaply. It’s time to be creative.

Watercolor Paints

The paints are basically pigments and fillers, so the less expensive brands (which can be great for beginners) will have more fillers and less color. The colors often come from natural sources like minerals, so if you get into that kind of thing, do some research. It’s fun and interesting. Some colors actually stain the paper and others do not. As you work and learn, you will see what colors speak to you. The paints come in pans (dry) and tubes (wet). If you are just starting with watercolor, get a basic pan set. They are super portable and make setup and clean up easy! If you go for tubes, you will need a small palette. Just squirt a dab (like toothpaste) onto the palette. You can let it air dry overnight so it’s portable.

Watercolor Brushes

Brushes come in a variety of shapes & sizes.. I suggest #2, #6, #12 round brushes - the smaller number is a smaller brush. This will allow you do do broad background washes and then smaller details.

Watercolor Paper

There are so many different varieties of watercolor paper that it can be overwhelming for a beginner. Papers have different weights and textures. I find the texture is what has the biggest impact on my final product. If the paper is very rough or toothy, then the pigment and color gets caught up as the brush glides across it. With smoother paper, the water and pigment spreads a bit more smoothly. How quickly the paper absorbs the water matters, because you sometimes want “work” with the color before it’s dry and mix them on the paper. I suggest starting with a spiral pad so you can practice and have fun! You can try out 140lb & 300lb paper. Lighter weight paper is great for practice, heavier for when you get serious and can handle adding/subtracting water & paint.

I love using Micron pens to ink in my details. Also, add in a grab a cup for water, paper towels, pencil and eraser!

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